First-Generation College Students: Understanding and Improving the Experience from Recruitment to Commencement
May 2012, Jossey-Bass
Praise for First-Generation College Students
"Who students are when they start college does not dictate how
much they can benefit, provided they take advantage of the myriad
learning opportunities institutions offer. This book is replete
with informative insights into the invisible minority we call
'first-gen students' as well as the policies, programs, and
practices institutions should use to help them succeed."
—George D. Kuh, Chancellor's Professor of Higher Education Emeritus, Indiana University
"Unnoticed and often poorly understood, first-generation college
students now comprise nearly fifty percent of students on many
college campuses. In this book Ward, Siegel, and Davenport offer
great insights and practical suggestions on how higher education
leaders can create a more welcoming, supportive, and inclusive
experience for these students to succeed."
—Jeffrey R. Docking, president, Adrian College
"Critical to our survival in a global economy is the selection,
development, retention and graduation of creative college students.
First-Generation College Students is both timely and
essential for those interested in understanding the next generation
preparing for college and the ways in which institutions might
anticipate, and therefore avoid, habits that invite failure instead
of graduation. The authors' work experiences, coupled with their
cited research base, situate them uniquely to contribute
intentional survival strategies to the sometimes unanticipated
realities of today's college students."
—Zach Kelehear, associate dean for Academic Affairs and professor, College of Education, University of South Carolina
"Long overdue, this book provides a comprehensive perspective of
the unique issues facing first-generation students as they
transition in and out of college. It is an important contribution
to higher education during a time when faculty, staff, and
administrators face heightened pressures to retain and graduate all
students in a timely fashion."
—Cynthia Wolf Johnson, associate provost, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
About the Authors xxi
1. Who Are First-Generation Students? 1
2. Transition into College 21
3. Transition Through College 47
4. Class, Culture, Race, and Ethnicity 69
5. Transforming How We Work with First-Generation Students 85
6. A Holistic Approach to Student Success 105
Lee Ward is director of Career and Academic Planning at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he founded the Student Learning Institute.
Michael J. Siegel is associate professor and director of the administration of higher education program at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a former research fellow at the Policy Center on the First Year of College.
Zebulun Davenport is vice chancellor for Student Affairs at Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis.